Title: Candle in the Darkness
Author: Lynn Austin
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 18.03.2014
Series: Refiner’s Fire series #1
The blurb says:
Caroline Fletcher is caught in a nation split apart and torn between the ones she loves and a truth she can’t deny.
The daughter of a wealthy slave-holding family from Richmond, Virginia, Caroline Fletcher is raised to believe slavery is God-ordained and acceptable. But on awakening to its cruelty and injustice, her eyes are opened to the men and women who have cared tirelessly for her. At the same time, her father and her fiancé, Charles St. John, are fighting for the Confederacy and their beloved way of life and traditions.
Where does Caroline’s loyalty lie? Emboldened by her passion to make a difference and her growing faith, will she risk everything she holds dear?
A captivating read, Lynn Austin draws her readers straight into the story. The book starts in the midst of the American Civil War. We are introduced to Caroline Fletcher who begins to write a letter or journal before the story jumps several years into the past. The bulk of the book then recounts Caroline’s life and experiences leading up to and during the war.
Austin does a marvellous job portraying the inner turmoil experienced by Caroline, whose strong convictions and abolitionist views do not marry up with the beliefs of the Southern culture she grew up in. While I felt that Caroline’s relationships with her family’s slaves were at times somewhat romanticized, I appreciate that the author probably did this to show that slaves were in fact human beings no different to their owners who regarded slaves as property.
Not being American and thus not being very familiar with the American Civil War, I am unable to judge how historically accurate the book is. However, it is obvious that a lot of research has gone into the story, which includes numerous mentions of historical figures, events and dates.
I did not want the book to end when I got to the last page and I hope, this being the beginning of a trilogy, that some of the characters will make an appearance in the other two books…which I cannot wait to read!